Julio de la Fuente (1905-1970) was an important indigenous anthropologist. It developed different themes in his anthropological work, among which we highlight inter-ethnic relations, indigenous education and applied anthropology. His work was produced under the auspices of the National Indigenous Institute, an institution in which he worked most of his life.
However, to understand the representation of the Indian in the work of this author is important to remember that prior to engaging anthropology, De la Fuente was a graphic artist. In 1930 he performed a free reading books for teaching for primary school called “Simiente” Collection.
Julio de la Fuente also as a graphic artist was part of the League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists (LEAR), a movement that emerged in 1934 as part of the new frame of cultural organizations of this period, seeking significant changes in the production process art from the perspective of a more just and egalitarian society (Reyes, 1987), inspired by the ideals of the Mexican Revolution.
In 1937, Julio de la Fuente has an accident and loses an eye, leading him to leave the graphic arts and to pursue anthropology. “The social activist in him became social analyst, deep fertile intellectual projections directed his steps to the broad field of anthropology” (Aguirre, 1980: 24).
The stock of Julio de la Fuente has 2,360 photographs taken between 1938-1952 approximately. It is presumed that most of them are Yalálag records.
The documentary style images of De la Fuente comprises taxonomic photography, in a way that maintains the model of registration of indigenous groups used in previous decades; photographs of pre-Hispanic archeological sites and objects, in a style “museum catalog” and “folkloric” popular types of photography as photographic models common in the nineteenth century; however, in his photographs highlight a modernist perspective that gives greater motion pictures, as well as the inclusion of social issues such as poverty and alcoholism.